If you just bought a new Verizon phone over the holiday season--before you knew that Verizon was going to carry the iPhone 4--and you feel kind of cheated, Verizon understands. The company is offering up to $200 to users who purchased a Verizon phone over the holidays, when they buy a new iPhone 4 and turn in their old phone.
Subsidized pricing for Verizon's iPhone 4 is the same as AT&T's iPhone 4--$200 with a new two-year contract. But for old Verizon customers who aren't eligible for an upgrade, it's a bit more expensive--$650 for the 16GB version and $750 for the 32GB version.
However, if you're not eligible for an upgrade because you just used your upgrade in December, Verizon feels your pain. Well, sort of. Verizon customers who purchased a new feature phone, smartphone, or certified pre-owned phone from the company between November 26 and January 10 will receive up to $200 on a Visa debit card when they buy an iPhone 4 at full retail price.
The offer ends February 28, and you have to return your existing phone at the time of purchase. From Verizon's official FAQ page:
"Current Verizon customers who purchased and activated new smartphones, feature phones or certified pre-owned phones between 11/26/2010, and 01/10/2011, are eligible to receive up to a $200 Visa debit card when they purchase an iPhone 4 at full retail price by 02/28/2011 and return their existing phone. Note: This offer is only available on consumer accounts with five lines or less, who are purchasing iPhone 4 through Verizon Wireless retail stores, telesales, or through verizonwireless.com."
It's a nice gesture, but "up to $200" is vague --and probably means that you will get anything but the full $200 when you turn in your phone. I assume the amount on the gift card is determined by how much you paid for your phone, but if you paid $200 for a new Droid because you had an upgrade, you've lost that upgrade (but not the $200). After all, $200 off of $650 is still...$450.
Honestly, depending on your plan, it might make more sense to open a new line.